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In non-narrative contexts, the use of the present to refer to past events is supported by the idea that these events are currently accessible through some kind of record. In references to mythological events, the implied record is mythographical or iconographical. In references to historical events, the implied record is chronographical, such as the Parian Marble. In references to transactions in the legal and business spheres, the implied record is a document from the corresponding sphere, such as a sales contract. The implication conveyed by the construal of the designated past event as being 'on record' is that this event is well-documented and of some importance in recorded history.
During the Middle Ages, the iconography of Alexander the Great could be found in religious as well as lay environments. The diversity of illustrated media (mosaics and capitals as well as tapestries and manuscripts) in which his likeness was represented reflects the variety of appraisals assigned to him as a historical figure, from condemnation to admiration. The analysis of various manuscripts and artefacts illustrated with images of the Alexander saga show that the same story, written and illustrated in different contexts, allowed different and nuanced interpretations: historical, political, encyclopaedic, courteous etc. The figure of Alexander the Great was particularly used by medieval rulers to base their political claims and aspirations through an intentional remastering of classical sources and associated iconography.
Recent absorbed residue studies have confirmed that ceramic and shell containers were used for consuming Datura in precolumbian times. Until now, no one has identified what tools precolumbian people used to produce a concentrated hallucinogenic concoction. In this study, we used mass spectrometry to identify Datura residues (a flowering plant with hallucinogenic properties) in two late precolumbian composite bottles from the Central Arkansas River valley. Unlike the construction of most Mississippian bottles, the bottles in this study are unique because ceramic disks with a series of concentric perforations were incorporated in the bottles at the juncture of the bottle neck with the globular portion of the body. The organic residue analysis revealed Datura residues in both bottles. We argue that the internal clay disks served as strainers that allowed Datura producers to separate the hallucinogenic alkaloids from the Datura flower to produce a powerful liquid beverage.
Quash draws Christian doctrine, the hermeneutics of gospels interpretation and the Christian iconic tradition into lively conversation. His central claim is that the Spirit of God mediates the life of Christ risen and ascended to the church and the world, and that this happens through the reading and hearing of the gospels and their ongoing representation in such works as Graham Sutherland’s Christ in Glory.
Presenting research conducted by the ‘St Stephen’s Chapel, Westminster’ project at the University of York, this article focuses on the Great Seal devised in 1649 and re-issued in 1651 to enable the Commonwealth to function following the execution of Charles i. As a familiar and ancient image of monarchy, the Great Seal posed an obvious challenge to the authority of the Rump Parliament. A radical new design, authorised by parliamentary committee and executed by engraver Thomas Simon, replaced royal iconography with images of popular sovereignty and nationhood: a map of England and Ireland on the obverse of the Seal, and the interior of the House of Commons chamber (formerly St Stephen’s Chapel) on the reverse. The result was a striking evocation of political authority located in the House of Commons and deriving from the English people. Engravings of the Commons chamber, in circulation since the 1620s, are identified as a probable source for Simon’s work. The Great Seal also re-asserted England’s dominion over Ireland and the waters surrounding the British Isles. Overall, this article argues for continuity as well as alteration in the iconography of the Great Seal of England, at a time of revolutionary political change.
Este trabajo identifica íconos de numerales asociados a dos tipos de cómputo del tiempo plasmados en el arte de Teotihuacan durante el periodo Clásico (150-650 dC). Primero, se analiza la pintura mural del altar de Atetelco, distinguiendo seis íconos de números y un símbolo matemático empleados para computar cuentas de 104 años trópicos, y 72 y 7.300 ciclos sinódicos de Venus. Un segundo análisis muestra que ambas cuentas fueron usadas en obras de estilo teotihuacano mediante una iconografía distinta al sistema numérico de puntos y barras. Las fechas teotihuacanas pueden ser correlacionadas con los registros de la cuenta larga del área Maya, lo que nos permite datar los monumentos y artefactos arqueológicos mediante la iconografía. La evidencia muestra que los teotihuacanos midieron el tiempo a largo plazo plasmando las cuentas en complejas obras como parte de la institucionalización del registro del tiempo.
Tracing the Gospel text from script to illustration to recitation, this study looks at how illuminated manuscripts operated within ritual and architecture. Focusing on a group of richly illuminated lectionaries from the late eleventh century, the book articulates how the process of textual recitation produced marginalia and miniatures that reflected and subverted the manner in which the Gospel was read and simultaneously imagined by readers and listeners alike. This unique approach to manuscript illumination points to images that slowly unfolded in the mind of its listeners as they imagined the text being recited, as meaning carefully changed and built as the text proceeded. By examining this process within specific acoustic architectural spaces and the sonic conditions of medieval chant, the volume brings together the concerns of sound studies, liturgical studies, and art history to demonstrate how images, texts, and recitations played with the environment of the Middle Byzantine church.
Las escenas de los bajorrelieves del Templo Norte de Chichén Itzá han sido investigadas durante muchas décadas, y los estudiosos han coincidido en que ilustran el ritual de inauguración del nuevo rey o gobernante, quien atraviesa diversos desafíos y ordalías y quien se distingue por portar un turbante de serpiente. En este artículo ampliamos esta idea y argumentamos que la iconografía del Templo Norte muestra rituales particulares que también son descritos en una de las historias del Chilam Balam de Chumayel, que refiere a la entronización del famoso príncipe Hunac Ceel de Mayapán. Además, presentamos datos y consideraciones adicionales que nos llevan a proponer que Chichén Itzá, durante el período Postclásico temprano, tuvo un sistema de gobernanza dual jerarquizado, que más tarde continuó en Mayapán, sobreviviendo a la conquista española en el reino de Petén Itzá.
Compared with The Rite of Spring (1911–13), that splendid masterpiece taking centre stage in the drama of Stravinsky’s life and forming a turning point in it, the short song cycle Three Japanese Lyrics (1912–13), composed during the same period and lasting under four minutes, may appear but a minor work loitering, as it were, backstage. Yet, if we place this composition into the broader cultural context of Japonisme which was so fashionable in Europe at the time, particularly in Paris, it raises several interesting questions. Lyrics has often been recognised as an early example of the impact of Japonisme on modern music, but what traces of ‘Japanese style’ does this work reveal?
This paper examines the Gens Augusta altar from Carthage dedicated by P. Perelius Hedulus, which is often said to replicate an image panel from the Ara Pacis, in order to understand the mechanisms by which imperial images were reproduced across the empire. Where conventional models have focused simply on image correspondence, I trace the movement of artists, architectural materials, religious concepts, and ideological knowledge in order to map out the diverse and distributed networks by which images circulated in the Roman empire. In so doing, the paper upends our traditional models that see Rome as a source of images that are then reproduced on the imperial periphery. Rather than a straightforward example of replication, I argue that the altar had no direct relationship to a particular Roman model, contending instead that the images on this altar were designed in Carthage and reflect the interplay between local social dynamics and imperial ideology.
This chapter focuses attention on a visual motif that became synonymous with the Reformation; the scales of justice weighing the Bible against the vanities of the Roman Catholic Church. It traces the migrations and mutations of this iconography in English visual culture from the 1570s to the 1670s, examining the contexts in which it appeared and was viewed, including canonical Protestant texts, popular print, domestic decoration and the battlefields of the civil war. It is argued that, in contrast to the pictorial elaboration of similar iconography in reformed continental art, an ‘insular’ process of visual compression enhanced the efficiency and immediacy of this motif’s message of Protestant righteousness. In this synoptic form the imagery served practices of ideological and social cohesion as well as fuelling conflict and division. Like memory itself, the ‘weighing motif’ was repeatedly remade; it was reiterated but modified as it transferred between and across objects, places and spaces. Its success as a particularly memorable motif encapsulates an understanding of the Reformation as both defining historical event and incremental process; while its imagery commemorated a single moment of judgement effecting schism, its persistence and longevity emphasised and facilitated the ongoing struggle for reform.
Long understood as purifying the church by rejecting worship routine and devotional ceremony, pious New England settlers in fact observed formal and informal rituals that defined lived religion within the Reformed tradition. Given that access to the vernacular word was central to puritan self-definition, literacy and reading became intensely ritualized. Thus, along with life-cycle rites (birth, marriage, death), annual and occasional ceremonies (fast days, thanksgiving days, election sermons, artillery sermons), and sabbath customs (the sacraments, the public confession, the audition of preaching), ritual was derived from the experience of books. The chapter demonstrates this experience by looking at moments of cross-cultural contact during Metacom’s War, where reading seeks to stabilize tradition. It studies reader annotations of devotional works as a means to understand the meditative, recursive, and extractive practices that grounded and routinized lay piety. And it examines the visual iconography of illustrations within devotional manuals, illustrations that idealize and demonize kinds of identity for the proper pilgrim reader. Ritual, routine, and iconography are not typically associated with puritan worship, but with an ear and eye to reading habits, we better understand experiential religion in early New England.
This chapter uses current theories in the cognitive science of religion (CSR) to examine the widespread popularity of hybrid monsters in ancient Syro-Palestinian and Near Eastern art and the role of material culture in enhancing memory and expanding the ordinary boundaries of the religious imagination. The chapter analyzes the iconography of hybrid figures from the perspective of two current cognitive frameworks: Dan Sperber’s epidemiological approach to cultural representations and Pascal Boyer’s theory of minimally counterintuitive (MCI) concepts. Artifacts and imagery include hybrid creatures on glyptic and minor art, monsters and demons, as well as a discussion of hybrid creatures such as the seraphim and cherubim in the biblical books of Isaiah and Ezekiel. It is argued that culturally specific depictions of hybrid animals exhibit a core set of properties, which helps to account for their stability across geographical and temporal distances. The MCI theory is also empirically tested with recourse to the ancient iconographic data.
In this book, Brett Maiden employs the tools, research, and theories from the cognitive science of religion to explore religious thought and behavior in ancient Israel. His study focuses on a key set of distinctions between intuitive and reflective types of cognitive processing, implicit and explicit concepts, and cognitively optimal and costly religious traditions. Through a series of case studies, Maiden examines a range of topics including popular and official religion, Deuteronomic theology, hybrid monsters in ancient iconography, divine cult statues in ancient Mesopotamia and the biblical idol polemics, and the Day of Atonement ritual in Leviticus 16. The range of media, including ancient texts, art, and archaeological data from ancient Israel, as well theoretical perspectives demonstrates how a dialogue between biblical scholars and cognitive researchers can be fostered.
The realization that cult images existed in the Iron Age has profound implications for our understanding of Romano-Celtic art. These earlier images likely served as the basis for later provincial representations of native divinities, which are not, as often proposed, later imperial period inventions. This chapter opens with an exploration of the continued use of Iron Age idols in the Roman period. Wooden images probably served as the main vehicle of transmission of iconography from the Iron Age and first century AD to the more abundant Roman stone representations of native divinities of the second and third centuries AD. The chapter considers monuments that contain purely native or combined native and Roman iconography, including depictions of Cernunnos, the mother goddesses, and Jupiter columns, before turning to the varied style and distribution of images of the gods with conventional Roman iconography. A final section examines how Mithraic cult images differed in form from earlier more static representations of the gods. We should envisage cult images as being continuously born throughout the Iron Age and Roman imperial period, existing side-by-side and in competition with older and newer images, with iconography following current and local trends and demands.
Despite the investigation of hundreds of ancient temples across the Near East, life-sized statues of divine figures are rare and none have been found in the Canaanite Levant. In this article, contextual and iconographic analyses are used to argue for the interpretation of objects from Canaanite temples at Tel Lachish and Hazor, Israel, as sceptres associated with life-sized statues. This represents the first evidence for life-sized divine figures in the region. In turn, this identification may assist in the recognition of similar objects from elsewhere in the Levant and beyond, and stimulate discussion of the power embodied by these statues.
In 2007, near Harrogate, in North Yorkshire, a Viking-period hoard was discovered with a Carolingian silver-gilt cup. This article examines this cup, highlighting Oriental, Central Asian and classical parallels in both metal and pottery for the cup’s form and decoration. The overall significance of the cup’s iconography has already been thoroughly discussed by Professor Egon Wamers, who proposed that the scenes on the cup are paralleled in the early ninth-century Stuttgart Psalter. This article proposes that Oriental forms and decorative elements in metalwork were channelled to the West through diplomatic contacts and trade by way of a complex of routes by land and sea, as well as possibly by refugees from Islamic conquests.
Upper Egyptian iconography early on equates warfare and hunting as corresponding, ritualised displays of the triumph of order over chaos. Within rituals, displays of physical prowess may represent military activity, and within the realm of actual warfare the subjugation of foreigners may take the form of ritual execrations and the ritualised display of both living and deceased enemies. In the practice of war the Egyptians emphasised manoeuvre over the clash of a shield wall, and captured enemies appear on the whole to have been given a route to acculturation through service to the pharaonic state. Literary sources reveal the use of epistolary taunts in addition to physical violence. As part of the Egyptian concept of the enemy as the opposite of Egypt and order, foreign women tend to appear in a more positive light than do male enemies, and no evidence appears for sexual violence as an element of sanctioned warfare.
Chapter 1 proposes to read the anecdote of Aristotle mounted by the courtesan Phyllis as relevant to the interaction of Latin academic practices and vernacular culture. By building on the idea that the taming of the philosopher stages the conflict between the ‘artificial’ culture of academic learning and concurrent ideas about Nature, I argue that some versions of the story (e.g, the Lai d’Aristote) relate to the medieval reflection on the ethical worth of the mother tongue. To this end, I compare the iconography of the mounted Aristotle to the depiction of Grammar, whose ‘bilingual’ status mirrors the ambiguous place that the vernacular holds vis-à-vis Latin in the age of Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio. The chapter then looks at other spaces (both textual and visual) for the translation of the philosophical ideals embodied by Aristotle. In different ways, both the novella tradition (e.g., Novellino and Decameron) and the visual display of civic values (e.g., the painted cycles of San Gimignano, Siena and Asciano) shed light on the ways in which the appropriation of Aristotle shaped the new vernacular societies while also being part of wider discussions about linguistic difference.